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03/05/2013

NOM engages pastor who prayed for President Obama's death

by Jeremy Hooper

Wiley Drake is extremely anti-gay. The Southern Baptist pastor is known for two prominent campaigns he waged during the mid-'90s: [1] Leading the charge against Disney in the mid-'90s (Drake wrote the resolution calling for an anti-gay boycott) and [2] Heading the campaign against openly gay ambassador James Hormel.

However, while his extremely anti-LGBT views are clear, what Mr. Drake is most known for are his "imprecatory prayers." Imprecatory prayers, for those not in the know, are prayers in which a person calls on God to bring evil onto a person or entity who/that he or she considers wicked. For most Christians, these kinds of prayers are completely off the table. For Mr. Drake, however, they are the thing of normalcy. In recent years, Mr. Drake has directed such prayers toward Fred Phelps, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, George Tiller (for whose murder he thanked God), IRS employees, members of Congress, and many others.  It's kind of his thing.

But there's one such prayer for which Mr. Drake is most known. To wit:

ALAN COLMES: Are you praying for [President Obama's] death?
WILEY DRAKE: Yes.
COLMES: So you're praying for the death of the President of the United States?
DRAKE: Yes.

(*first voice is Colmes; second is Drake)

Okay, so I think that's a good place to stop in terms of background. You have a good idea of who this guy is, right? Okay, swell.

Here's where NOM comes in. This morning, I noticed that Mr. Drake is promoting NOM's upcoming "March For Marriage" on his Facebook wall:

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 At 8.35.41 Am-1

So okay, whatever. NOM has no control over who promotes its stuff. Sure, it's insightful that a pastor like Drake is itching to be involved in NOM's cause, but you can't really connect a simple promotion back to NOM. I mean, it's not like NOM reached out to Mr. Drake over anything.

Except for the fact that NOM totally did reach out to Drake. Check this out. What follows are email exchanges in which this very same Wiley Drake commits to showing up and bringing his supporters to the NOM march—a commitment for which Allegra Herburt-Hewell, one of the organizers behind the NOM march (she's also an employee of Robby's George's American Principles Project), thanks Drake before offering further assistance. Mr. Drake posted these exchanges to his public Facebook wall:

Hewelldrake2
[SOURCE: Wiley Drake's public Facebook wall]

Now, to give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe Ms. Hewell does not know Mr. Drake's record. That would be surprising to me, since is it well documented and well known within political and religious circles. Also, if someone is pledging this big of a commit to a prominent march you are organizing, it's probably best to do a quick Google search. It takes about three seconds to find out the infamous Drake's worst hits.  But okay, maybe she didn't.

But what is completely clear is that Ms. Hewell and NOM now know exactly who Mr. Drake is. I will see to it that the right people see this post and learn more about this person who sees his own shocking cause as being so perfectly in line with the NOM mission. This will then leave NOM with a choice: to stand with Mr. Drake and let his obviously extreme views become connected to the march or to make it clear that their cause—listed as protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it—has nothing to do with a man who has quite literally—QUITE. LITERALLY—prayed for the death of our President (who he calls "an evil illegal alien").  I know what I would choose.

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